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Updated Apr 1, 2013 - 11:42 am

Arizona's trauma system becomes model for S. Korea

PHOENIX -- The three-day Korea-Arizona Trauma Summit kicked off Monday at Maricopa Medical Center.

Almost three dozen South Korean physicians and government officials are part of a delegation studying Arizona's trauma systems.

South Korea hopes to blueprint its first national trauma system after Arizona's.

The visit was planned long before the tensions started rising between North and South Korea and the doctors were unwilling to address that.

Dr. Yeong Kim explained the visit.

"We need the type of trauma system that Arizona has. Very advanced, highly experienced trauma care system"

He singled out the doctors at University of Arizona Medical Center in Tucson as a textbook example of why they've come to Arizona.

Doctors there saved the life of former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords after she was shot in January 2011.

South Korea will spend $2 billion on everything from ambulances to hospitals over the next 2-5 years to build their trauma system.

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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